The secret weapon of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, Darlene Love was among the most famous little-known singers in 1960s rock 'n' roll. As the leader of studio backing vocal group The Blossoms, Love sp...
Hawthorne, California, USA
|20 Feet From Stardom||2013||Actor||Herself||20137|
|Lethal Weapon 2||1989||Actor||Trish Murtaugh||19897|
|Hey La Hey La... Girl Groups of the 60's||2000 1999 - 2000||Actor||n/a||20007|
|British Rock Symphony||2000 1999 - 2000||Actor||n/a||20007|
|Lethal Weapon||1987||Actor||Trish Murtaugh||19877|
|Lethal Weapon 3||1992||Actor||Trish Murtaugh||19927|
|Making of "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," The||1992 1991 - 1992||Actor||n/a||19927|
|Shake, Rattle and Roll||1987 1986 - 1987||Actor||n/a||19877|
|Lethal Weapon 4||1998||Actor||Trish Murtaugh||19987|
|Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: 17th Annual Induction Ceremony||2001 2000 - 2001||Actor||Presenter||20017|
|Late Night With David Letterman Seventh Anniversary Show||1988 1987 - 1988||Actor||n/a||19887|
|Motown Merry Christmas||1987 1986 - 1987||Actor||n/a||19877|
|Sonny Bono: Pop Songs & Politics||Actor||Interviewee||7|
|The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert||2009 2008 - 2009||Actor||Performer||20097|
|The 27th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony||2011 2010 - 2011||Performer||n/a||1|
|Popular Song: Soundtrack of the Century||2001 2000 - 2001||Actor||Interviewee||20017|
|Making of "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," The||1992 1991 - 1992||Song Performer||("All Alone at Christmas")||1|
|Cher... At the Mirage||1990 1989 - 1990||Song Performer||background singer||1|
|Gremlins||1984||Song Performer||("Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)")||1|
|The Idolmaker||1979||Song Performer||("Oo Wee Baby")||1|
|British Rock Symphony||2000 1999 - 2000||Song Performer||("Ruby Tuesday" "Give Peace a Chance" "Imagine" "Let It Be")||1|
|Sixteen Candles||1984||Song Performer||("Today I Met the Boy I'm Gonna Marry")||1|
|The Pick-Up Artist||1987||Song Performer||("Wait Till My Bobby Get Home")||1|
|Home Alone 2: Lost in New York||1992||Song Performer||("All Alone on Christmas")||1|
|Bachelor Party||1984||Song Performer||("Alley Oop")||1|
|Jingle All the Way||1996||Song Performer||("Rocking Around the Christmas Tree")||1|
|All I Wanna Do||1998||Song Performer||("Girlfriend for Life" "Starlight, Starbright")||1|
|Father of the Bride||1991||Song Performer||("Today I Met the Boy I'm Gonna Marry")||1|
|Better Off Dead||1985||Song Performer||("Winter Wonderland")||1|
|Fast Times At Ridgemont High||1982||Song Performer||("Winter Wonderland")||1|
|Love Actually||2003||Song Performer||("All Alone On Christmas")||1|
|Inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame|
|Sang lead on #1 hit "He's A Rebel" by The Crystals|
|Left The Blossoms|
|Sang a holiday song on "Saturday Night Live" called "Christmastime for the Jews," penned by comedian Robert Smigel|
|Starred in documentary "20 Feet From Stardom"|
|Co-starred in "Lethal Weapon"|
|First solo single, "Today I Met the Boy I'm Gonna Marry"|
|Joined The Blossoms|
The secret weapon of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, Darlene Love was among the most famous little-known singers in 1960s rock 'n' roll. As the leader of studio backing vocal group The Blossoms, Love spent the 1960s singing on hit singles by artists ranging from Sam Cooke and Dionne Warwick to The Beach Boys and Sonny & Cher, but the lack of credit afforded to studio musicians in that era meant that her name was little known beyond the cognoscenti. Love's biggest hit, the 1962 #1 smash "He's A Rebel," wasn't even released under her name: Spector released the single, recorded by The Blossoms in Los Angeles, under the name of his already-successful New York-based girl group, The Crystals. But as rock 'n' roll matured, Darlene Love took her rightful place in the music's history, including a leading role in the hit documentary about the world of backing singers, "20 Feet From Stardom" (2013).
Love was born Darlene Wright on July 26, 1941 in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne, where she began singing with her church choir as a teenager. She joined The Blossoms in 1958, replacing founding member Nanette Williams, and was chosen to be the group's lead singer. Though The Blossoms recorded several singles under their own names for various labels between 1957 and 1972, none of them were successful; however, the group quickly established themselves as the most prominent studio backing vocal group in Los Angeles. They began working with producer Phil Spector in 1962, recording background vocals on tracks for The Crystals and The Ronettes. Later that year, Spector recorded "He's A Rebel" with Darlene on lead vocals. There are conflicting reports as to why the producer chose to credit The Crystals. One theory holds that Spector was in conflict with the group, particularly lead singer La La Brooks, and wanted to send a message that they could be replaced; another suggests that Spector was anxious to beat a competing version by pop singer Vicki Carr onto the charts.
A follow-up single, "He's Sure The Boy I Love," was also released under The Crystals' name. Darlene and fellow Blossom Fanita James, along with male singer Bobby Sheen, were also drafted into Spector's new vocal trio Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans; three of their singles reached the charts in 1962 and '63, with Darlene singing lead on two of them, "Not Too Young To Get Married" and "Why Do Lovers Break Each Other's Hearts?" It was during this era that Spector gave Darlene Wright the new name Darlene Love; her first solo single, "Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry," hit #39 on the Billboard chart in 1963. A later single, "Wait Till My Bobby Gets Home," was slightly more successful, reaching #26. Late that year, the holiday album Phil Spector Presents A Christmas Gift For You was released, featuring what would become Love's signature song, the holiday perennial "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)."
Although Spector produced several more singles for both Love as a solo artist and The Blossoms, none of them charted, and The Blossoms left Spector's Philles Records in 1964. Subsequent singles on other labels did not chart, although the singers continued working steadily as studio pros. They also appeared on television as part of the house band backing guest stars on the weekly pop series "Shindig!" (ABC 1964-66) and supporting Elvis Presley on his legendary comeback TV special "Elvis" (NBC 1968). The Blossoms also took part in the first major rock 'n' roll concert film, "The T.A.M.I. Show" (1964) supporting Motown star Marvin Gaye.
Love left The Blossoms in 1974, spending several years working as a housekeeper around Los Angeles. In the 1980s, she began an acting career with an appearance in the period musical "The Idolmaker" (1980). Her most high-profile film roles came in "Lethal Weapon" (1987) and its three sequels, in which she played Trish, the long-suffering wife of Detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover). She also appeared in several Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals, including the jukebox musical "Leader of the Pack," the John Waters adaptation "Hairspray" and a revival of the 1950s period piece "Grease." In 1986, she began an ongoing tradition with late night TV host David Letterman, performing "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" every December, initially on "Late Night With David Letterman" (NBC 1982-1992) and later on "The Late Show With David Letterman" (CBS 1993- ). Darlene Love was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, three years before "20 Feet From Stardom" introduced her to a new audience.
|Was renamed Darlene Love by producer Phil Spector, inspired by gospel singer Dorothy Love-Coates|
|"I think for a long time people thought I was a figment of Phil Spector's imagination because they knew The Crystals, they knew The Ronettes, they knew Bob B. Sox and the Blue Jeans, but had never had met Darlene Love." -- Popmatters, June 21, 2013|
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